Unmistakable to watch lovers, the Portuguese Grande Complication by IWC could be assumed as boring to those who don’t know better. The brand’s classic watch, crafted distinctly for the man’s man, gets a new flagship model with a highly regarded manufacture movement, and an added helping of durability that many competing watches can’t match. The title of “Grande Complication” is more than hyperbole in the watch world. It has a specific meaning that requires timepieces with this term to have a certain level of features or “complications.” IWC has given its newest Grande Complication watch a modern feel while retaining the classic style and simple layout that defines the dial orientation design of the automatic caliber 79091 movement, made in house. Despite the neat arrangement of the information windows and subdials on the watch face, this IWC movement has nine hands on the dial and is constructed of almost 660 parts. It is rare enough to have a grande complication watch be self-winding, but having one that looks easy enough to pick up and use right away without any instruction or explanation is much harder to find. The caliber 79091 movement offers the true holy trinity of grande complications—a 12-hour chronograph, perpetual calendar (adjusted only once each four years), and a minute repeater. The watch even adds a moon phase indicator and year indicator that goes up to 2100—a date, which, with good care, the timepiece will likely survive until. You have to agree that even with 11 pieces of information displayed on the dial, reading the time still only requires a quick glance. Operating the minute repeater is done by sliding down the lever located on the left side of the case. This will cause the internal hammer and gong to musically indicate the time via a basic audible code. The silvered watch dial features engraved lines meant to remind you of the longitudinal and latitudinal lines on a globe. The curved lines further represent a tilted structure, meant to display the Earth’s actual orientation and axis. Not a petite watch, this IWC sits at a respectable 45mm wide on your wrist in 18-karat red gold, and is not too thick at 16.5mm. More red gold is located on the dial, used for the hour markers and the hands. The ensemble looks handsome combined with a brown alligator strap.
With a new, more refined layout, the Christophe Colomb watch contains the new manually wound Calibre 8804 movement with a 50 hour power reserve, time (with subsidiary seconds), and power reserve indicator. Zenith attempts with too much enthusiasm to connect the concept to Christopher Colombus (the inspiration for the watch name), but the timepiece feels enough on its own. In a 45mm wide case, the piece is a bit more wearable than its predecessors. The large cardan style escapement cage sits in the watch case like a globe, still requiring bulges on both the bottom and top of the case. The curious looking piece is a spectacle to wear, and smile-inducing to watch. It is a complication that still doesn’t seem possible, but it is. Being a Zenith, and having the El Primero movement heritage to consider, the Calibre 8804 movement with all its complexity, is still able to have a frequency of 36,000bpm. Credit goes to Zenith for finally taking an interesting movement and building a good looking watch around it. The Christophe Colomb has a silvered guilloche engraved dial with blued steel hands, and the case is available in white, rose, or yellow 18k gold. Limited to just 25 pieces, the watch is priced at $209,000.
The Chronofighter 1695 is a beautiful timepiece that is available in either steel or 18K pink gold. The case measures 42mm and features a left hand fast-action start/stop trigger and reset pusher. The Chronofighter 1695 is powered by a Calibre G1745, automatic chronograph movement with a 48 hour power reserve. The stunning case back of the Chronofighter 1695 is hand engraved showing the Greenwich Observatory as well as a sapphire aperture on the balance wheel. The dial of the Chronofighter 1695 is a crisp silver-white color and features a snailed minutes counter at the 6 o’clock position and a date aperture at the 3 o’clock position. The Graham Chronofighter 1695 is water-resistant to 160 feet and is shown here on a brown crocodile strap with an 18K pink gold pin buckle.
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